World War I Carruthers Field and Capt. Vernon Castle Memorial
During the First World War, Fort Worth was home to three training airfields. Initially, these airfields were built to train Royal Candian Flying Corps and American pilots. When the US entered eh war in1917, the airfields were turned over to the US Army and renamed. The airfield now located in Benbrook was called Carruthers Field. One of the squadron commanding officers was Captain Vernon Castle who was a world-famous dancer with his wife Ireen Castle. On February 15, 1918, Captian Castle was killed in an aircraft training accident. A memorial was erected near the site of the accident and Carruthers Field. The listed address is the site of the memorial.
Backstory and Context
One of three flying training fields around Fort Worth during World War I. The field was used by Royal Flying Corps Canada for training between November 1917 and April 1918. Captain Vernon Castle, commander of No. 84 Canadian Training Squadron, Royal Flying Corps, died February 15, 1918 when he took emergency action on landing to avoid another plane and crashed on the field. Captain Castle and his wife Irene were super-star ballroom dancers and film stars in the years preceding World War I. There is a local monument at Vernon Castle Drive and Cozby West Street in Benbrook.
The airfield was initially known as Taliaferro (pronounced Talavor) No. 2 and was part of a complex of three Taliaferro fields around Fort Worth with the training command's headquarters in downtown Fort Worth. It was mostly known as Carruthers Field after the US entered the war. It was renamed Benbrook Field by the United States Army. The field was used during that war as an aerial gunnery and observations schools for American and Canadian students and was afterward deactivated.
The most often used aircraft at Carruthers Field was the JN-4 Jenny biplane.
With the exception of the Castle Memorial and some concrete building foundations, there is little that remains of this once thriving airfield.